[Collaborative Post] When it comes to deciding whether to share a bank account with your significant other — there’s no wrong or right answer. While your friends and family might have different opinions on separate and joint finances, it’s important to decide what is right for you two as a couple, rather than listen to or be influenced by others. How you and your partner manage your finances will depend on both your attitudes towards money. When it comes to making this decision, keep in the mind the pros and cons of both.
Should you keep your money separate?
By keeping your money separate, you will have a lot more control over what goes in and out each month. Your money is protected, and you can spend as you please without having to answer to anyone. This may also result in fewer arguments, as you can use the money that you have earned to buy those well-deserved pair of shoes without having to dip into your partner’s funds. Also, when it comes to borrowing money for an investment, you can apply for funds, knowing that only you have been responsible for your own credit score, without any influence from your partner.
However, you still have bills to pay as a couple. If you own a house and have frequent outgoings, it could prove difficult on how to decide who pays what each month — particularly if one of you earns a lot more than the other. By having separate accounts, there is also a lot more room for secrecy, as one of you could be spending a lot of money without the other knowing. If you choose to keep your accounts separate, make sure that you trust your partner enough to manage their money effectively, too.
Or, should you join your finances?
If you and your partner decide to open a joint account, it is important to agree beforehand what you will be using this account for. For example, will you be combining all your income into it and using it to pay all your expenses, from the mortgage through to your independent luxuries? Or will you be keeping some money aside to pay for the things you want?
Joining your finances can often make things a lot simpler. Not only can you pay your rent, bills and food shopping from this account, you also won’t have to question whose turn it is to pay for lunch or argue about who should put the petrol in the car next time they’re at the station.
Before opening a joint account, consider whether you and your partner share similar spending habits. If you have both agreed to combine all your salary into one account, it may also be worth sitting down and having a conversation about a spending threshold — if one of you is spending hundreds of pounds a month on luxuries rather than necessities, it could become a problem. A shared account can be the cause of many arguments in a relationship, and if you do happen to split up, separating your finances could become messy.
If one of you constantly worries about your credit score, while the other is a fantastic saver, come to a compromise that suits you both. Although sharing everything in a joint account can work for some couples, others may prefer to keep their personal accounts open alongside their shared one.